Death and Sorrow in Frankenstein
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is filled with death and sorrow. They occur in almost every aspect of the book. The four "squares" of the book, Walter, Victor, the monster, and the cottagers, all suffer from them at one time or another. Some perceive Frankenstein as a horror story; however, in actuality it is a book of tragedy and despair. Every page reveals more misery than the page before. Thus, death and sorrow are inevitable in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Walter has an interesting turn of events towards the end of the book. He is forced to abandon his quest to the North Pole, he is faced with the monster and must hear the monster's plans for self-destruction, he has to watch idly as his new friend, Victor, passes from this world. He has such noble dreams and aspirations, but they are all brought to a halt because of his chance meeting with Frankenstein. Or, was his expedition doom from the start because of the nature of wanting to do what no other man had done? Was it his ambition that led him to untimely failure? The evidence from the text proves that possibly he was never meant to surpass his peers and obtain the glory that he pursued.
Victor experiences very little joy at all after the creation of the monster. He suffers from numerous bouts of depression, he most tolerate the deaths of his brother, best friend, and wife, all of which were murdered at the hands of the monster. His friend Justine is executed because of the death of William, for which she is falsely accused and convicted. His father also dies after the murder of Elizabeth, Victor's ill-fated bride. With so much death surrounding his life, how is it possible that Victor could still be cognizant of his actions when he decides to pursue the monster and end its violent fury? He can't. Victor's mind is so clouded by the sorrow and pain of his past that he is blinded to the fact that he is attempting to destroy a creature with far greater physical strength and speed than any mortal. Much of his conflict appears to be created by the monster, when in fact the torment comes from Victor's own hands because he himself created and gave life to the monster.
The monster lived in a world of eternal turmoil and strife.